In addition, recipients of mobile ads generally respond well to relevant information about new products or useful promotional offers. And several advertisers in Europe, including a number of major retail groups, are already using mobile platforms to drive customers to physical stores or encouraging mobile buying with user-friendly apps, mobile-optimized websites and mobile coupon schemes. But because these are the initiatives of individual firms, large-scale advances in mcommerce are likely to happen piecemeal—at least in the short term.
France and Germany represent only 12% and 6.8%, respectively, of the $2.92 billion that will be spent on mobile ads in Western Europe in 2013, according to eMarketer. Yet those shares are beginning to add up to serious money, according to a new eMarketer report, “Mobile Ad Trends in France and Germany: Momentum Builds, as Multinationals Lead the Way.” Germany is projected to see $349 million in mobile investment this year and nearly $200 million is forecast for France. Within five years, mobile ad spending is expected to reach $1.8 billion in Germany and $792 million in France.
So far, though, planning and execution of robust mobile strategies—such as mobile-optimized websites and high-spec campaigns that really pack a punch—have been largely restricted to megabrands that can afford to risk the investment and buy the talent that helps ensure success.
In both France and Germany, 10% of total page views in February 2013 came from internet traffic via smartphones and tablets combined, according to Adobe’s “Digital Index” report. Tablets had the edge in both markets, accounting for 6.1% of all page views in France and 5.7% in Germany.
But mobile spending has not kept up with traffic. eMarketer calculates that mobile’s share of 2012 digital ad spending was very small—less than 5% in both France and Germany, compared with 6% on average across Western Europe. The consultancy Capgemini estimated the proportion to be even lower: just 1.8% of all digital ad spending in France last year.
To help move advertisers onto mobile, standardizing ad formats and technologies will help mobile become a viable marketing platform in France and Germany. This is already happening to some extent, particularly in the UK, but more needs to be done across the region. One initiative, the AdEx Benchmark Mobile Working Group, with the help of the IAB Europe, aims to monitor the current mobile marketplace, identify trends in mobile advertising, and “establish what is desirable and practical for mobile ad measurement.”